Disrupting a System of Wealth Extraction

exodusA report on Exodus Lending from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

Exodus Lending, which launched two years ago from a Minneapolis Lutheran congregation as the first alternative to  payday loans, has made its 100th loan, including to 41 working-poor borrowers who were refinanced from the “payday loan debt trap” and repaid in full.

“We had no idea the program would grow this big and help so many people,” said Exodus co-founder Meghan  Olsen Biebighauser. Continue reading

Prophetic Moral Challenge

barberFrom the Intro to Rev. William Barber’s recent Op-Ed:

President Trump’s first appearance at the National Prayer Breakfast met awkward silence on Thursday (Feb 2) as he began his comments by touting ratings when he was on “The Apprentice.” Unpracticed in the public performance of piety, the candidate who was praised for “telling it like it is” made even his white evangelical base momentarily uneasy as he demonstrated the impotence of their religion to overcome his narcissism. Excused as a “baby Christian” during his campaign, the teen-like Trump continues to expose the hypocrisy of white evangelicalism.  Continue reading

#FaithJustice: Sacred Right to Rest

laborBy Grecia Lopez-Reyes, Organizer with Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, originally posted on the Law At The Margins blog

For the past year and half I have worked as a Faith-Rooted Organize for Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE). I educate, organize, and mobilize the community of faith to walk in intimate solidarity with workers and their families fighting for a living wage, respect, and better working conditions in industries such as the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The ports are an industry that thrives from the sweat and labor of misclassified Port Truck Drivers. Due to misclassification, drivers are considered independent contractors and not employees, which requires for workers to be responsible for paying the lease of their trucks, maintenance, insurance, and fuel to name a few of the costs. Misclassification makes these drivers vulnerable to wage theft, while also denying them of benefits such as overtime pay, worker compensation, and health care. Read more here: “The BIG RIG Poverty, Pollution, and the Misclassification of Truck Drivers at America’s Ports a survey and research report.Continue reading

Saviors

zinnFrom Howard Zinn’s The People’s History of the United States (1980):

The idea of saviors has been built into the entire culture, beyond politics. We have learned to look to stars, leaders, experts in every field, thus surrendering our own strength, demeaning our own ability, obliterating our own selves. But from time to time, Americans reject that idea and rebel.

Radical Friendship

radical-friendshipAn exclusive RadicalDiscipleship.Net interview with Ryan Newson, professor of religion, philosophy and ethics at Campbell University.  He is the author of Radical Friendship: The Politics of Communal Discernment, coming out on April 1.

RD: Describe how this project started.

RN: This project began during my doctoral studies when I was immersed in Anabaptist theology and political theology, respectively. As I read Anabaptist theologians in depth, I was drawn to a communal form of reasoning about spiritual and moral questions that seemed to haunt that tradition—always lurking even if it was not always perfectly implemented. This picture of radical disciples drawing near one another in order to figure out what God would have them do, or who God would have them be, was magnetic. It reminded me of the form of Christianity that had always appealed to me, and that I had seen practiced by house churches in Camden, NJ, and New Monastic communities in Durham, NC, and Catholic Worker communities in Silk Hope, NC. In particular, I was attracted to the way in which this practice had the potential to guide communities into new waters without fear, acquiescence, or retreat. It certainly carried much more power, it seemed to me, than the way many of my fellow Christians approached questions of discernment: through a wooden, legalistic application of scripture. Continue reading